Create a tall privacy screen near a septic tank


Hi there, I’m hoping to plant some tall evergreen greens that will block my neighbour sight-line into our backyard. Her deck is raised about 4 feet off the ground so she can see into our yard. We live in Port Perry Ontario. We are somewhat rural and have a septic tank and bed. The location of the trees is about 8 feet from the septic bed, so I need a tree that doesn’t have powerful or invasive roots.
Thanks so much. Heather, I suppose the trees don’t need to be evergreens, but something that grows fast for privacy is narrow and doesn’t have invasive roots. Your assistance is greatly appreciated. The location is near our gate, so the trees can be overlly wide.. max about 4 feet.. thanks


Hi Heather in Port Perry

Technically, your nearest MGs are the Durham Master Gardeners, so you may want to contact them before relying solely on our advice, which is designed for the growing conditions in Toronto.

Your main limiting factor here is the septic tank. I am sure your municipality has provided you with information about how to avoid disrupting its operation. Here is a link to a previous question we answered:

On this page you will see that tall trees of any kind are not recommended near septic tanks. Perhaps you could explore the possibility of tall native grasses, but be sure to rule out any that are invasive, just to avoid conflict with your neighbour. One beautiful grass that would feather out nicely in summer to block their view is Big Bluestem (Andropogon gerardii Vitman). Grasses are not only cheaper, but easier to maintain than trees!

Good luck with achieving the privacy you want.

5 April 2021